5.0 Mustang & Super FordsProject Vehicles
Raisin' The Roof: 5.0 Magazine Builds an '86 T-Top Drag Car
Embarking on a mission to resurrect one of the rarestFox Mustangs ever built
Horse Sense: "A T-top coupe? I've never seen one before. Are you sure it's factory?" At this point, we should bepaid a dollar for each question we get about the pedigree of our latestproject vehicle. Sure, Fox coupes are popular and may be a dime a dozen,but it's really becoming clear that one like ours truly is somethingspecial!
Consider this excerpt from a message thread posted on the Hardcore PowerLounge forum on Hardcore 5.0.com www.hardcore50.com. It was a response to the online poll, "Which ['Stang] do you call yourbaby (coupe, hatch, 4.6/modular, or don't care, as long as it looks goodand goes fast)?"
Kaje5ohh: "I've owned only hatch cars thus far, but I do dig coupes though. Here's a car nobody mentioned . .. the rare and elusive T-top COUPE! Yep, there were a few of those carsout there back in the '80s. T-tops or not . . . they're WAY cool!"
The post was made by 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords' new tech editor, KJJones, way back in August 2002--which can be considered ancient historywhen you're dealing with the online Mustang world. Things change quicklywhen it comes to this stuff. Fast-forward to October 2005 for thisinteresting sequence of notes on Hardcore.
V8Only: "I'm desperate to get hold of the guy giving that '86 T-top notch away. My bro and I already have aGT-40-headed Explorer engine with a Tremec 3550 waiting for the rightcar such as this. I apologize for this being my first post; I just wantto get hold of this guy quickly. Anyone know who he is? Thanks!"
Kaje5ohh: "What's up, man? It's beenawhile. How are you and your bro doing with the 'Stang salvaging? Well,I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but I've got the coupe you'reasking about. Sorry, man. It was a done deal as of 7 a.m. or so today.Actually, it was in the works awhile ago, if that's any consolation.Keep in touch. I might be checking with you guys for a few four-eyeparts. I know y'all have a stockpile of 'em."
Codeman: "So, it will remain afour-eye then? The '86s are my favorites, and if I couldn't have [that car] I just want to see it live. LOL. Keep us up to date, Kaje5ohh."
Yes, KJ won the Internet scramble for the highly sought-after, rareMustang. And, of course, "doing something" with this holy grail of Foxesalmost instantly became one of the main entries on our '06 agenda.
Building a strong, street-bred, real-world 'Stang is our plan. And, inthe spirit of Dr. Jamie Meyer's "Project Mondo Stocker," Editor SteveTurner's "Real Street" (both of them coupes as well), and even AssociateEditor Mike Johnson's (will-it-ever-be-completed) "Roadkill," amodular-Fox effort--we really want our new four-eyed acquisition toshine on the street and the dragstrip.
In a test of our ability to create such a 'Stang, we're committingourselves to get this T-top ride finished in time to take it on Hot Rodmagazine's Drag Week event. For those of you who aren't familiar withDrag Week, we like to think of it as the ultimate Wild Street/TrueStreet (in sanctioned-Mustang-racing language) challenge. Five days,roughly 1,500 miles, and five dragstrips--for more details see page 38of the Jan. '06 issue of Hot Rod.
Why do this with such a rare car? First and foremost, we decided ourDrag Week Mustang had to be a Fox because maintaining awareness (ourreaders' and our own) of our 5.0 roots is crucial to us. After all, weare 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords, and we refuse to let it be forgotten thatthere once was a time when a 5.0-powered, '79-'93 hatchback or coupe wasthe foundation for a strong, street Mustang. While we admit a lot of ourattention is now given to '99-'05 Mustang GTs and the Four-Valve Cobras,we want to show you that hooking up a four-eyed Fox--the 'Stang thatreally started the madness--is still seriously cool.
Drag Week will certainly have a collection of some of the most radical,street legal (by street legal, we primarily mean registered and insured,but with the question, at what cost?) cars of all makes, and cars thatwill cover both the five-day-cruise and 1,320-foot-dragstrip distanceswith displays of amazing performance. But we aren't going at this from aset-the-world-on-fire position. We'll be shooting for mid-to-low 10s,but more importantly we want a car that can be driven every day withconfidence and won't leave us stranded or breaking out the tools duringthe trip. One of the keys to having a good street car is simplicity, sosticking to the basics in terms of chassis, drivetrain, andinterior/exterior appearance is what we'll focus on as we bring thisPony back to thoroughbred form. But because we also realize it's a newday and time for our hobby, it's only right that our T-top car has adecent helping of new, whizbang technology as well.
So, with that said, welcome aboard! We'll be bringing you updates onthis project through a series of stories that will focus on variousaspects of the build, including building and installing the 347-inchpowerplant and drivetrain, installing a rollcage, setting up thesuspension, plumbing and electrical, reupholstering stock seats andlaying carpet, body and paint, and a whole lot more.
These photos and captions give you a first look at the special lump ofMustang clay we plan to mold into greatness. Study the pictures, thendrop us line athref="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com and giveus some ideas on what to call this project Mustang.